PPC Origins – Megan Klein

Coming to us all the way from fun, sunny, warm Florida our not-so-new employee, Megan Klein, FINALLY joins Chris in the podcast booth to talk about her path, PPC and just shoot the (sea) breeze.


  • Get to know Megan in 107 seconds (1:53)
  • Poli Sci? Nah. PPC? Yes, please. (3:40)

  • The selling points of making PPC a career (4:44)
  • Where PPC was when Megan got her start (6:50)
  • What brought Megan to Granular (8:17)
  • The Granular difference and culture (10:11)
  • Megan’s method to client relationships (13:00)
  • To the future! Where Megan thinks PPC is going (15:40)
  • Bonus: a quick philosophy lesson (18:40)

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Narrator: Welcome to Getting Granular, the podcast where digital marketing experts from the agency, Granular, talk about the latest trends, tried and true best practices, and share their unfiltered thoughts about the industry. Whether you are here to learn how to grow your business, improve your digital skills, or just want to hear some Midwest PPC experts rant about digital media, you’ve come to the right place.

Chris: Thank you all for tuning into the Getting Granular podcast. I am your host, Chris Cesar, and today we are joined by not so much our newest employee. You’re like middle of the pack now this time, aren’t ya?

Megan: Yeah, I think I’ve been here for about a year and a half now.

Chris: All right. So yeah, everybody, this is Megan Klein, like we said, started about a year and a half ago. So that would’ve been what? July of 2021ish?

Megan: April.

Chris: April of 2021. All right, there we go. So she’s been around a while, but there’s a good reason why we haven’t had her in to give her introduction yet. Megan, why might that be?

Megan: So, I live in Florida. I am also cursed with the worst luck when it comes to traveling and flying and really just life in general. So I’ve dealt with a lot of canceled flights, redirected flights I’ve spent overnight and then pretty much the entire full next day alone at the Philly airport. So that was fun. So just traveling is not my forte.

Chris: I would say, I think we had the scheduled what, once or twice already and had to move it because you couldn’t make it in?

Megan: Yep. Out of, I think, I had seven trips up here planned. I’ve successfully made three of them.

Chris: All right, we’re almost shooting 50%. So anyway, thanks for coming in today Megan and giving us a quick rundown of who you are. So aside from the travel woes, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Megan: So I originally am from Long Island, New York, so occasionally you will hear a little bit of a New York accent in me. I have been living in Florida for about eight years now because I went to the University of Tampa where I originally studied political science and philosophy, and thought I was going to go into politics and then learned how miserable that really is. And was like, yeah, no we’re not going to do that. So then that’s how I got into marketing, decided to really just stay in Florida because at the time it was a lot cheaper and nicer to just live there. Weather was always perfect. And then just kind of recently with the housing market busting, it’s been getting pretty expensive and pretty popular to live down there. But otherwise it’s pretty cool there. I have a dog, his name’s Podrick. Yeah, don’t really do too much besides for, I’ll take him to the dog parks and the dog beaches, but other than that, it’s pretty much too hot to do anything.

Chris: So you’d rather have the hot steamy summers than foot and a half of snow and 20 below all 3 months out of the year?

Megan: Yeah. Because at least you can still drive and then you can just sit inside in the AC or jump in a pool.

Chris: A real person in Wisconsin would tell you, you can still drive if there’s a foot of snow.

Megan: That’s true. But it’s not safe, it’s not smart.

Chris: If you say so. But yeah. And then political science major and philosophy turned into marketing. That seems like a solid regular transition.

Megan: Yeah, it made perfect sense. I actually ended up lucking out where my best friend was in communications and PR and she ended up getting a job at a full service advertising agency right out of college. And I still had an extra semester because I was dual majoring so I needed two more credits for my political science because it was a science diploma. Stupid. But I ended up interning there and that’s how I got into advertising, and really kind of lucked out, and fell in love with it and then kind of learned it’s all the same as campaigning and all that. So in one way I was kind of studying for it.

Chris: Well that does seem sort of a good transition here, how you got into PPC. It sounds like your roommate helped you get into it, sounded like the why had something to do with it was familiar to you already. So I guess if you want to expand on that a little bit more, or what was it about paid search that made you want to stick with it?

Megan: Yeah, so my first agency and the place I was working at was more of a traditional agency just starting to become hybrid and go into the digital sphere, especially because they were mainly home builders and home marketing focused. So historically that was a lot of traditional marketing. And when I first came on board and first started was really when Facebook and Instagram started popping off with all of their advertising and their groups and stuff. And we started really learning that home sales and the markets really started shifting from people that would have to go through those whole long processes, physically tour and view the house, where just traditional marketing worked best to now, people were just buying houses so much faster using websites, take virtual tours, schedule tours and just all that.

So I noticed our clients were missing out on a big opportunity. So brought that up and really was given the opportunity to lead and head the entire PPC department for the agency. So getting to create that path and my job position there really got me excited about it and into it since it was something I was able to teach myself and then teach others and just kind of do it how I wanted in a way without having too many people overseeing me, if that makes sense.

Chris: So let’s expand on that a little bit more in terms of what the landscape looked like when you first started. You mentioned that Facebook and Instagram was starting to really take over as a big advertising channel. Anything else that’s really stuck out to you?

Megan: Back then, Google was not as smart, not as AI technically focused as it is now. So there were just kind of weirder restrictions. You had to get really creative to be able to see some sort of genuine data and return there. Whereas nowadays, just technology has really expanded. There’s so many more social media apps and social media channels, connected TV, all of those streaming apps, streaming services. None of that was a thing when I first started. Netflix was still a mail order company, so streaming services weren’t even a thing. So those kind of commercials and just advertising like that really just expanded at the time. You could do Facebook, Reddit, Google and Microsoft was still Bing Ads at the time too and now it’s Microsoft.

Chris: So then looking at all that in the past and the emerging technologies and social channels that you’ve grown into as a media manager, focusing a little bit more on yourself, what was it that brought you to Granular? How’d you get here from where you started and how did that unfold?

Megan: So at my previous agency we were using Granular to run our programmatic ads. And while I was working closely with Anna and Emily at the time, also just kind of started seeing more of a growth opportunity if I kind of switched over and came on board with Granular, and especially with the housing market bubble and the huge influx that happened with everyone just buying houses without touring and you couldn’t even list a house before people were buying it, 2021. I kind of saw it as the perfect time to transition out of my old agency and into a strictly PPC role because at that agency I still was wearing so many hats and was just overwhelmed with combination of having to rapid fire traditional media and run fast ads that way, the way that you can do it in the digital sphere, but them not wanting to go digital.

So just kind of having the opportunity to work with Granular and see everything that they were doing really opened up the doors for me to kind of talk to our CEO, Jordon, here and figure out if there was a place and a role for me to fit here. And turns out there was. So now I’m here.

Chris: All right, well we’re glad you’re here.

Megan: Thanks.

Chris: So with obviously coming on board and you’ve been around for a while, so you’re pretty familiar with the culture and the company, what is it that you enjoy about working here?

Megan: I think the best part has to be the culture. Jordon has really focused on making sure that we have full support from the entire team, that we’re not stressed out with an overload of work, no one’s expected to ever work weekends or extra hours. Where in my previous job, even if we called out sick, that meant you’re working from home. So kind of coming here and adjusting to always working from home and then calling out sick, still thinking I have to work, and then being told, “Stop working, get off Slack, you’re sick” was such a nice kind of culture shock. Like wow, there are jobs that care. So yeah, I would say that’s about the best part. And everything else is great too.

Chris: No downside. Everything’s great.

Megan: The weather.

Chris: Oh yeah, forgot about that. You hate coming up here and having to sit in the cold. And I think pretty much every time you’ve been up it’s been fall, winter, except once.

Megan: Yeah, I think every time I came, it was below freezing. And one time it was 50s, so that one wasn’t bad. However 28 degrees is too much.

Chris: Did you want to tell everyone the story about last December?

Megan: So yes, last time I came up here for our Christmas party, it was just like a quick one day flight, one day trip. So I only packed a carryon with my essentials, what I needed, change of outfit. And every time I go through an airport, I always wear slides or like slipper slides with socks to get through TSA super quick. So that slide your shoes on, you’re not causing a backup on the line. However, once I landed in Milwaukee, I realized, “Oh, I didn’t pack real people shoes.” So I had to go to our Christmas party and walk through the streets of Milwaukee, 30 degree weather in slippers and socks.

Chris: That’s one of my favorite Megan stories ever, which is why I had you tell it.

Megan: Oh yes. I survived and so did all my toes.

Chris: You still got 10 toes?

Megan: I still have 10 toes and I brought slides for this trip too.

Chris: All right. Valuable lesson learned. So transitioning a little bit, slight non-sequitur here, but focusing a little bit more on you and your approach to work and working with clients and communication styles, how do you find it yourself most successful as it comes to working with clients, be it in meetings or reporting and reporting on the ROI aspect of things? Sort of walk us through your process there.

Megan: I feel like the most important thing with clients is to pretty much remember that they’re people too and they also have other aspects and other tasks of their job that’s stressing them out as well. So a lot of times what I want to do is just kind of create a rapport where friendly, completely understanding. If I’m waiting on assets from them and they’re too busy, not a big deal, not too much of a rush, don’t want to stress them out, always help them find a workaround quickly, come up with something on the spot to ease stress as much as I can for my clients. Because I’ve kind of learned with working with people that everybody’s stressed all the time. So however much stress I can pull off my clients’ backs, I’ve learned they’ve all kind of just really appreciate that and love that.

And it helps you kind of build like a friendlier rapport and friendship with your clients so that really when you are coming up with goals, and in your planning meetings and sending out reports and you’re discussing KPIs and tactics, you can have kind of a more fun, lively conversation and have it feel less classroom analytical. We have to do this, this, and this. And make it more of a collaborative learning, fun experience for everybody. Because if they’re enjoying it and you’re enjoying it, you’re obviously going to see better results versus something that you have no passion for and they could care less too, and it’s just not going to be good.

Chris: It’s an interesting take. I don’t know that any one approach is good or bad, but there have been other times where people have said, “Oh, let’s just focus on the numbers, make sure the numbers are good and that’s all that matters.” So I think it is a good thing that we have different people on the team because everyone has a different personality and sometimes the client likes it more, we’re just, “Give me the numbers.” And other times it’s more, “Let’s just have a friendly chat and as long as we know that the work’s getting done, it’s going to make everybody’s life a little better.” All right. So we talked about the past, how you got here, what the landscape looked like, and a little bit about the present, how you got here, what’s going on in the world, how you like to manage clients. So there’s only one other place to go and that’s to look at the future. So how do you foresee the future of PPC? What are you excited about? What are you concerned about? Where do you see things going 5, 10, 15 years from now?

Megan: I’m really excited kind of more about the AIs and the automation that’s coming in where you can make campaigns and ads that are really personalized and personal to the person. I love to personally take advantage of the ads where I go to a website, add stuff to my shopping cart, leave, go on Facebook, and then wait for them to retarget me with a 20% off coupon and that’s how I save money. So I really just kind of see it continuing to get more and more detailed with that kind of first party data on specific platforms where what you’re doing on Facebook, Facebook’s going to remember. You’re just going to have really easy curated life when it comes to ads because honestly everything comes down to shopping and capitalism. So the easier they make shopping for me, the happier I am. So just with it becoming more personalized and more kind of automated in that way is what I’m kind of excited about just on a personal level. And getting to see how that’s working on the back end is going to be cool but yeah.

Chris: I also agree that I very much enjoy putting something in my cart, making it most of the way the checkout phase and then not putting that payment info and then getting that email, “Oh you left something in your cart, here’s 20% off.”

Megan: Oh yes.

Chris: My favorite.

Megan: That’s our tip of the day.

Chris: I guess, what concerns you about that then?

Megan: From the same standpoint, AI does get very rapidly, very smart. A lot of what we’re seeing across tech industries is a lot of humans are starting to get eliminated from certain tech jobs. So just kind of hoping the robots don’t come for my job.

Chris: I’d be less concerned about the robots coming for your job, more concerned about the robots coming for me in general. We’ve got some Terminators.

Megan: That is true. Although I do have a Transformer as a car, so I’m safe if the Decepticons attack.

Chris: There you go. But what if the Transformers are the bad guys?

Megan: Well the Transformers have two races. It’s the Decepticons and the Autobots. The Autobots are the good ones. The Decepticons are the bad ones. I already know mine’s an Autobot because it has an Autobot symbol.

Chris: What if in this universe the Autobots are the bad ones? Did you ever think of that?

Megan: Now here’s where my philosophy degree comes in handy. Good and bad, it’s more of an objective truth. What’s good and what’s bad is really just kind of objective to the subject. What I think is good you could think is bad. I could think chocolate ice cream’s the best thing in the world. You could think chocolate ice cream’s horrible and hate it and think it’s the Devil. So for me, it’s good. For you, it’s bad. So as long as whatever team I’m on wins, it’s good.

Chris: I feel like philosophy, the big point of philosophy here is just to confuse people. And I’m not going to get into it, but I will drop one of my favorite Star Wars quotes. “You’re going to find that many of the truths we clinging to depend greatly on our own point of view.”

Megan: I’m going to drop my favorite Shrek quote. “Pick number three, my Lord.”

Chris: All right, well that transitions nicely into closing. As I always like to ask people as we wrap things up, if you had any words of wisdom for the audience and that’s what you had written in your outline.

Megan: I have some more words, I have some more lines that we could go with. I have, “Life’s a box of chocolate. You never know what you’re going to get.” It’s a good one. The one I actually truly do go by is, “Most plans of mice and men most often go awry.” Or “Even the most laid out plans of mice and men most often go awry.” So that’s just never have a plan, but just be prepared for anything.

Chris: So wing it is basically your life model?

Megan: Yeah, you’ve got to just flop by.

Chris: All right. Great to know. Thanks for joining us, Megan. Hope to have you back real soon and hopefully you’re back in town real soon successfully without error, many times in the future.

Megan: Me too. And I’m really hoping for maybe a heat wave my next trip. That would be nice.

Chris: Maybe come in July or August and it’ll be like fall in Tampa.

Megan: Yeah.

Chris: And thanks for you all tuning into the Getting Granular Podcast. Be sure to like and subscribe so you don’t miss out any PPC tips, tricks or news in the digital marketing world. If you wanted to leave us a review as well, we’d love to see those. Anything you’d like to see or hear additionally, we’re always here for you. So any other specific developments we love to talk about. I’ve been your host, Chris Cesar. Thanks for getting granular with us today.